Really Really Free Market: An Escolta Community-Led Alt-Retail Initiative

The Really Really Free Market in Escolta is making a comeback to reinforce a sense of community, gift-giving, sustainability, and more! With its successful runs in the past four years, Hub Make Lab and Pineapple Lab are bringing the event back due to popular demand. Interested to partake in the free market event? Here’s what you need to know before heading to Manila to snag some pre-loved finds! 

Also read: 7 Best Things to do in Escolta on a Day Trip to Old Manila 

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A post shared by HUB | Make Lab (@hubmakelab)

What is the Really Really Free Market in Escolta all about?

The Really Really Free Market (RRFM) is a pop-up market driven by an alternative gift economy to the typical barter or market system. Here, the exchange of goods and services does not require any kind of payment whatsoever. Since there is no explicit exchange for money or value received, a shared sense of community thrives within the people. On top of that, this alt-retail system further promotes sustainability and recycling in the simplest of ways.

To encourage locals to join the movement, Escolta’s pioneering creative space Hub Make Lab, along with Pineapple Lab, hosts their own RRFM events. Think of it as a collective practice to give without receiving anything in return. Feel free to take what you need and share whatever items you own that no longer sparks joy. The rules are simple: No trade, no barter, and no expectations. Everything is simply free! 


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A post shared by HUB | Make Lab (@hubmakelab)

What to bring to the Really Really Free Market?

While RRFMs run on the idea of a no-exchange-gift culture, you can still bring pre-loved goodies and services (skills or talents) that you wish to share. Commodities include clothing items, books, magazines, art materials, school supplies, plants, home goods, and kitchenware, among others. But just like any other gift you’d give to a loved one, be sure to haul items that are clean and in good working condition. Services, on the other hand, can be in the form of massages, haircuts, blood pressure checks, clothes alterations, and whatnot. 

For participants who want to donate items, only bring goods that can be easily carried or lugged. This means no big items such as furniture or heavy equipment. Donations can only be dropped off at Hub Make Lab from 8 to 10 Apr 2022 (Friday to Sunday), from 10am to 7pm. Additionally, everyone is requested to bring their own reusable bags to minimise waste and the use of plastic. 

Other things to take note

For a seamless and systematic free-market experience, there will be a limit to the number of items you can take. Note, though, that this limit is only effective between 10am and 5pm. Each individual can take up to as much as one large shopping bag, while families of three or more people can take up to two bags. After the 5pm cut-off, you can take home as many items as you want! 

Also read: 11 Pre-Loved and Thrifted Furniture Shops on Instagram 

Pre-loved finds, exciting services, and great entertainment await you! The Really Really Free Market is located at the First United Building in Escolta, Manila. Drop by this weekend, 9–10 Apr 2022 from 10am to 7pm.

Featured image credit: HUB Make Lab | Official Instagram Page 

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